With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and support from the Chemistry Research Instrumentation Program (CRIF), Professor Janel Owens from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will acquire a liquid chromatograph, tandem mass spectrometer (LCMS/MS). In general, mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the key analytical methods used to identify and characterize small quantities of chemical species embedded in complex matrices. In a typical experiment, the components flow into a mass spectrometer where they are ionized into the parent ion and its fragment ions and their masses are measured. The chambers aligned in a tandem mode provide a higher degree of separation. This highly sensitive technique allows detection and determination of the structure of molecules in a complex mixture. An instrument with a liquid chromatograph provides additional structural identification power by separating mixtures of compounds before they reach the mass spectrometer. As a primarily undergraduate institution, the faculty at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs embraces undergraduate research experiences as one of the most important outcomes of their research activities. The proposed instrument will directly impact the research experiences of a large number of undergraduate students within the three-year project period, and many more in years to come. The instrument will be used by participants in an NSF funded REU program and will be involved in green chemistry research and also by students at neighboring Colorado College.
The award is aimed at enhancing research and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) investigating tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA) and derivatives in environmental and food samples; (b) toxicological analysis of postmortem brain tissue in suspected drug-related deaths in Colorado; (c) synthesizing and evaluating a new hydroxamic acid series for the treatment of Human African Trypanosomiasis; (d) investigating microwave-assisted synthesis of fluorinated antimalarial analogues; and (e) investigating and quantifying engineered nanomaterials in environmental samples.